ICJ denies Pakistan request to play Jadhav's 'confessional' video
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) today denied permission to Pakistan to play a purported "confessional" video of retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav at a public hearing here.
To support its allegations that Jadhav was sent by India to carry out spying and espionage activities in Pakistan and was arrested from the restive Balochistan province, Pakistan delegation at the ICJ sought permission to play the purported video showing the Indian national admitting that he was a "spy".
However, the ICJ denied permission to the Pakistani side to play the video at the hearing, Indian officials in New Delhi said.
Earlier, India demanded the immediate suspension of Jadhav's death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at ICJ.Vienna Convention not for spies involved in terror: Pak to ICJ
Vienna Convention provisions on consular access were not intended for a "spy" involved in terror activities, Pakistan today told the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is hearing India's plea on the death sentence given to its national Kulbhushan Jadhav.
India's application on Jadhav, who was arrested in March last year and sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities, was "unnecessary and misconceived" and must be dismissed, Pakistan told the UN's highest judicial body.
India had been unable to provide an explanation for Jadhav's passport which bears a Muslim name, Mohammed Faisal of the Pakistan Foreign Office said in his opening remarks in response to India's submissions earlier in the day.
India was using the court as the "scene of political theatre" but "we will not respond in kind", Faisal told the ICJ which held daylong proceedings to decide the fate of the former Indian Navy officer.
There has been deafening silence and no response from India on Pakistan's accusations on Jadhav, Pakistan's lawyer Khawar Qureshi said.
Expressing the fear that Jadhav, 46, might be executed before the hearing was over, India accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna convention and conducting a "farcical trial" without a "shred of evidence".
Pakistan had denied India its 16 requests for consular access, India's lead attorney Harish Salve said.
The urgent hearing comes after the ICJ last week stayed Jadhav's execution. While India presented its argument over 90 minutes, Pakistan, which claims that Jadhav is an agent of India's external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), took less than an hour.
India wants the ICJ to annul Jadhav's death sentence and for Pakistan to ensure that no action is taken that may prejudice the rights of India or of Jadhav.
Jadhav, the latest flashpoint in the tensions between Pakistan and India, was sentenced last month.Fear Pakistan will execute Jadhav before UN order: India at ICJ
Indian on Monday sought an immediate suspension of the death sentence awarded to alleged spy Kulbushan Jadhav in Pakistan saying there was a fear that he may be executed even before the decision of the international court.
"Jadhav has not got the right to get proper legal assistance and the right to consular access. There is an immediate threat to him to be executed even before a decision is passed" by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Deepak Mittal, Indian official, told the court in his opening remarks
Mittal termed the military court trial of Jadhav as "farcical".
Mittal told ICJ President Ronny Abraham, who presided over the proceedings, that India's repeated requests to Pakistan on consular access to Jadhav were denied.
"India learnt from press reports that the death sentence was awarded to Jadhav on the basis of an alleged confession. Pakistan has not provided the chargesheet, any documents on the case despite repeated requests," Mittal told the court.
"It is clear that Jadhav has been denied of his right to seek legal counsel. Jadhav's parents have applied for visa to travel to Pakistan which has fallen on deaf ears."
V.D. Sharma, a Joint Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry and co-agent, said Pakistan had failed to comply with all its legal obligations by denying consular access to Jadhav ever since he was arrested in March 2016.
India is seeking relief in the form of immediate suspension of the death sentence. Jadhav has been accused of espionage by Pakistan.
Sharma also urged the court to restrain Pakistan from "giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court" and to direct it to annul its decision.Curt 'namaskar' by Indian diplomat sums up chill in Indo-Pak ties
Reflecting the chill in Indo-Pak ties, a curt 'namaskar' was all that a senior Indian diplomat had to offer to an extended hand of a member of the Pakistani delegation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), hearing the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
Ahead of the hearing today, Deepak Mittal, who is the head of the Pakistan division in the external affairs ministry and is representing India in the retired Navy officer's case at the ICJ, ignored the handshake gesture by Mohammad Faisal, Pakistan's DG for South Asia and SAARC, and offered a 'namaskar' instead.
Interestingly, Mittal shook hands with some of the Pakistan delegation members, including the Pakistani attorney general, the main lawyer in the case from the Pakistan government.
On May 8, India moved the ICJ against the death penalty handed down to Jadhav by a Pakistan military court, alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. On May 9, the highest court in the UN gave Jadhav a lease of life.
India, in its appeal to the ICJ, had asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy. India has denied that he has any connection with the government.
(With PTI inputs)